Call to avoid risk of relying on global food supplies

A leading agricultural pressure group has warned of the risk of relying on global food supplies as UK supplies were predicted to fall below 70% by the end of the year.

With demand for food set to rise as the world population increases, the Commercial Farmers Group, a lobby group of farmers, academics and economists, said it was vital the government moved to halt the downward trend of UK food production.

Speaking at the Royal Show on Sunday, Henry Fell, CFG chairman, said the government and farming industry should embrace a five point action plan, including ensuring fair trade for UK farmers and investing in research and development, to ensure food production in the UK remained viable.

“We think 80% of the food consumed nationally should be from the UK, but it will probably be below 70% by the end of the year,” he said.

“We are increasingly dependent on the global market and we need to recognise how fragile it is.”

Mr Fell said even with the development of the biofuels industry, UK land was going out of production at a rate which was approaching “critical”.

“Production has fallen in the pig industry, there’s a lack of confidence in dairying and potatoe and wheat production has dropped.

“Unless it is addressed and there is investment in research and development, we will be in crisis.”

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